Screening foodstuffs for class 1 integrons and gene cassettes

Liette S. Waldron, Michael R. Gillings*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to health in the 21st century. Acquisition of resistance genes via lateral gene transfer is a major factor in the spread of diverse resistance mechanisms. Amongst the DNA elements facilitating lateral transfer, the class 1 integrons have largely been responsible for spreading antibiotic resistance determinants amongst Gram negative pathogens. In total, these integrons have acquired and disseminated over 130 different antibiotic resistance genes. With continued antibiotic use, class 1 integrons have become ubiquitous in commensals and pathogens of humans and their domesticated animals. As a consequence, they can now be found in all human waste streams, where they continue to acquire new genes, and have the potential to cycle back into humans via the food chain. This protocol details a streamlined approach for detecting class 1 integrons and their associated resistance gene cassettes in foodstuffs, using culturing and PCR. Using this protocol, researchers should be able to: collect and prepare samples to make enriched cultures and screen for class 1 integrons; isolate single bacterial colonies to identify integron-positive isolates; identify bacterial species that contain class 1 integrons; and characterize these integrons and their associated gene cassettes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere52889
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
    Issue number100
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2015


    • Environmental Sciences
    • Issue 100
    • integron
    • lateral gene transfer
    • epidemiology
    • resistome
    • antibiotic resistance
    • pollution
    • xenogenetic


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